Field of Dreams…

Field of Dreams Movie Set

Near Dyersville, Iowa

I left Manitowoc, Wisconsin this morning and headed for Dyersville, Iowa. Shooting in my hometown, for an extended period of time, was something I wanted to do for a long time. Two of the highlights for me were these; the people I met and the horses! There was a lady who let me photograph her horses, it made for an incredible experience. I learned a little bit about horses, and she actually knew who I was from the local Facebook page where I post. There was also the guy fishing at sunrise and the lady doing yoga also at sunrise, who graciously allowed me to photograph them. Even an elderly lady let me photograph her front yard while she worked. I had so many conversations, with so many people, they all made my day(s)!

But then there were the horses… I really got interested in horses a few years ago while living in Virginia. Photographing horses is especially a kick when they’re curious or affectionate. When these animals give out their trust it’s a pretty amazing experience. When I get back to El Paso I’m going to actively search out horses again.

After leaving Wisconsin today, I went to Dyersville, Iowa to shoot the movie set from the 1989 film Field of Dreams. Why? Because I’ve always liked the film and it’s a great baseball movie. It was cool, very cool. Tomorrow I will be on the road all day followed by an entire day shooting in Great Sand Dunes National Park. Below are a few iPhone shots from today in Iowa, hope you enjoy!

Shooting in WI

Shooting in WI: Days 3 & 4

Shooing in and around my hometown of Manitowoc, WI is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I’m finally getting to do exactly that. I’ve also wanted explore the nearby city of Two Rivers as every photo I’ve taken there sells. However, in the process I’ve been meeting so many people and taken a huge number of photos that I can’t wait to edit when I get back to Texas, and… was able to hang out with horses. Gaining the trust of horses and making friends while behind the lens is a thrill, apparently they like the sound of the camera. Since horses are found on farms, getting rural shots has been easy to do in the process. I’ve also been shooting flags and patriotic themed shots which, after Independence Day, are everywhere. In both Manitowoc and Two Rivers, many older buildings can be found, some of them even with corner stones, trying to capture those in interesting ways is more challenging than it sounds. Previously unknown to me was the fact that there are many building here that are on the National Register of Historic Places and capturing those has been a treat as well.

Over the next couple of days I plan to attempt to capture my hometown’s urban settings and possibly a sunset. Overall, from a photography standpoint, this has been very interesting. Now I’m seriously considering a trip up here in fall to capture autumn forest colors. Next stop this week, I’ll be off to Iowa to shoot the movie set for Field of Dreams and some back roads as I get there. See, I am making an attempt to get better at this!

😃

Wisconsin Photo Trip

Shooting in Wisconsin Again

Day 2

Below are a collection of iPhone 13 mini shots of my photo subjects for today, it was a fun day! My day was interesting, lots of cool photo subjects while driving about a hundred miles of back roads over 5 hours. The day ended photographing one of my absolute favorite subjects, more on that in a bit. So, after waking up a little after 4am, I headed down to the harbor to catch the sunrise over the north pier on Lake Michigan here in Manitowoc, it didn’t disappoint! Other than getting eaten by some gnats, I think it paid off and I got some great shots. After shooting the sunrise I made my way down Mariners Trail to shoot the Spirit of the Rivers statue by R.T. Wallen depicting three Native Americans carrying a birch bark canoe. Manitowoc has a long history with the Native Americans but that’s an entire blog post on its own. This beautiful statue sits on the shores of Lake Michigan and is simply amazing at sunrise. I shot another nearby statue called On Eagles Wings by sculptor by Carl Vanderheyden.  After shooting a few other sites in the city, I drove out to the county to shoot several lakes, a few farms, old cars sitting in yards, and a few other things. Then, I happened upon some horses…

Having lunch with my dad was THE highlight of my day but the horses were the best time with a camera in hand. I drove by this farm with nothing short of stunning horses and man… I LOVE taking horse photos; they are amazing creatures. I drove on the property and asked permission to shoot these beautiful horses and the owner was a super nice lady who let me go wherever I wanted. These horses were magnificent, I could have stayed here all day! When I have a camera in hand, horses seem to either spook or become interested in what I’m doing. It seems some are attracted to the shutter sound and when that happens it’s something beautiful. All in all, a great day shooting here in my hometown. I’m here till Monday when I’ll start making my way back to Texas with a few blog-able and interesting stops that should prove fun.

As always, thanks for following and reading!

All photos taken with the iPhone 13 mini

Shooting in Wisconsin Again

The Sheboygan Acuity Flag

This is my first time back in Wisconsin in about four and a half years. The first week was with my family and this upcoming week is shooting time and I’ve got lots in the works! After taking my family to the airport for their flight home today, I shot the worlds largest free flying American flag. This is the 400 foot tall Acuity Flagpole of the Acuity Insurance Company in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The flag hangs on the tallest flagpole in North America, each star is approximately 3 feet across on this 9,800 square foot flag that weighs a whopping 250 pounds! It’s not just big, it B.I.G. While I’ve driven by it many times on Interstate 43, standing underneath this enormous Old Glory was a completely new experience. It’s gorgeous, Acuity (get it – couldn’t resist…). When it waves in the wind it sounds more like a low rumble than a flag waving. If you’re ever heading north of Milwaukee on I-43, get off at exit 123 and check out this jumbo sized patriotic wonder.

Lots of photos coming on this in the future! But for now, I’m seriously trying to get better about blogging a little each day so please come back!

Sheboygan, Wisconsin (iPhone 13 mini)

New Wisconsin Collection!

A work in progress…

Having a Wisconsin Collection is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I grew up in Manitowoc but now live in Texas, so I try to get back every couple of years and hopefully now that my wife and I are fully retired I’ll make the trip more. Needless to say, I hope to get more photos in this collection very soon. Please check it out and as always, I appreciate your support!

Wisconsin Collection:

https://www.billchizekphotography.com/Photo-Collection/Wisconsin/

Merry Christmas!

Manitowoc, Wisconsin

The North Pier

About 80 minutes north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin sits Manitowoc, a city known for a Maritime Museum, a car ferry, and where a piece of the Soviet Sputnik 4 fell out of the sky in 1962.  It is also where I grew up until I joined the Navy in 1981.  These photos were taken in July of 2011 with a Canon EOS Rebel XSi and the stock 18-55 kit lens that came with the camera (it was all I owned).  I still use a kit lens and found they do a decent job as an all-purpose lens.  Recently, after making the decision to not sell mine, I read Andrew S. Gibson’s article entitled Why your Kit Lens is Better than You Think, it made me feel good about the decision.  The above photo, The North Pier, was taken during the photographer’s “golden hour” as was the photo at the bottom of the page.

 

Wet Sub

A major tourist destination in Manitowoc is the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.  The centerpiece of the museum is a World War Two submarine, the USS Cobia (SS-245).  The Cobia came to Manitowoc in the early 1970’s and has been restored to an incredible condition.  I’ve seen other WWII subs on display and don’t know of any in as good of condition.  In fact, Cobia’s engines still run and are started on occasion, click here for a video.  When I go home, I usually squeeze in a trip to the museum and the Cobia.  At right is a photo I took of Cobia one morning on a walk.

 

Badger Departing

Many tourists arrive and depart Manitowoc on the SS Badger car ferry.  The Badger travels about sixty miles to Ludington, Michican; by car this trip is over 400 miles!  Manitowoc has a rich maritime history and car ferries once played a key role connecting this Lake Michigan town to major cities such as Milwaukee and Chicago.  Both of these photos (left & above) are black and white photos with color accents.  Next week’s blog is devoted to these types of photos.

 

homeThis photo, called Home…  was also taken in July of 2011   This is the old mill at Manitowoc Rapids located northwest of Manitowoc.  Also here is an old truss bridge from 1887 when this road was the major highway connecting Milwaukee and Green Bay.  Nearby is the grave of a prominent Native American named Chief Mexico.  Mexico was Chief of the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Menominee tribes of Manitowoc County; he died and was buried here in 1844.  The old mill, truss bridge, and Chief Mexico’s grave are about a five minute walk from each other.

I’m already planning my future trip home and may take the Badger to Ludington, film a sunset along with Ludington’s lighthouse, and come home the next day.  Also on the agenda is to film the lighthouses of Manitowoc County.  If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll go in winter.